Mountaintop Removal Mining Poll Shows Bipartisan Opposition in Appalachia

Thu, 2011-08-18 05:30Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson's picture

Mountaintop Removal Mining Poll Shows Bipartisan Opposition in Appalachia

Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club released a poll yesterday showing that a majority of voters in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia oppose mountaintop removal coal mining. The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research & Consulting from July 25-28, found that 57% of Appalachian voters oppose mountaintop removal mining while just 20% support it. This echoes the results of a poll released last week by CNN which found that 57% of Americans nationwide oppose the controversial practice.

“The survey data turns conventional wisdom on its head,” said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Associates. “Not only does it show Appalachian voters opposing mountaintop removal and by wide margins, it also underscores that voters in these states are now treating this as a voting issue, and promise to punish elected officials who weaken clean water and environmental regulations on mountaintop removal.” Here’s a chart of the findings:



The opposition to mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia isn’t limited to one political party. As the chart below shows, majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents oppose MTR mining:



In addition to opposing mountaintop removal mining, the Appalachian voters who were polled also expressed bipartisan support for strengthening clean water laws. “Fully three-fourths (75%) of Republican voters, and 68% of Tea Party supporters, in this survey support increasing Clean Water Act protections from Mountaintop Removal coal mining,” said Christine Matthews, president of Bellwether Research & Consulting.

Appalachian Voices published the chart below, which shows that a plurality of voters in all four states polled oppose MTR:

Joe Lovett, Executive Director of Appalachia Mountain Advocates, offers this summary of the poll’s findings:

Elected representatives in Appalachia are out of touch with their constituents. The people of Appalachian want to be protected from mountaintop removal mining. They want environmental regulations enforced. But in Congress and statehouses, officials protect special interests instead, working to gut the Clean Water Act instead of enforcing it and strengthening it.

Virginia blogger Lowell Feld spoke with Jane Branham of the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards in Virginia, who shared some additional context:

First, only a tiny percentage of people (11%) in “coal country” are employed directly in the coal economy. Second, mountaintop removal coal mining, in addition to harming peoples’ health (she said “it’s literally killing people,” and she’s absolutely correct on that) and the environment, actually destroys jobs, as it’s a highly mechanized (capital intensive) form of mining that requires few human beings to run. Finally, what’s particularly disturbing is how afraid people are, despite their opposition to this barbaric practice, to speak out. That’s due to the intimidation of the coal companies and its allies, in a wide variety of ways - economic and otherwise.

Question wording and data on the poll is available here (PDF) and here (PDF).

Previous Comments

I bet the majority are also opposed to poverty. Shutting down coal in West Virginia would mean more poverty in a state that is poor to start with. Its a tough choice to make but in the end people will choose industry and economy and that means they are stuck with coal.

Mountain top removal actually decreases the number of coal mining jobs, saving the mining company money, while increasing unemployment.

Programs to retrain mining workers and future workers in new clean energy industries can help alleviate the job problem. This could be combined with incentives for companies to set up shop there.
Worrying about coal mining jobs, which is a solvable problem and local, as an excuse not to solve global warming makes no sense.

I would imagine that the people in Appalachia are also fond of their mountain home and would prefer that it not be turned into a wasteland.

$20 Million for 14 “Green” Make-Work Jobs … http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Seattle-s-green-jobs-program-a-bust-2031902.php

“I bet the majority are also opposed to poverty. Shutting down coal in West Virginia would mean more poverty in a state that is poor to start with.”

Same argument as back in the time of the whaling industry.

1) You will destroy jobs
2) Why do you want to destroy my livelihood? I have kids to feed.
3) You are anti business
4) The alternatives are not better
5) There is no evidence of a problem

The fossil fuel industry in the grand scheme of things is a small employer. Greentech can employ far more people.

‘The fossil fuel industry in the grand scheme of things is a small employer.’

And supported by those with small minds just like the first commenter to this topic, who, I would not be surprised is the same person who has made a silly post here:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-curve-fitting-fools-gold.html

All those who denigrate climate models should read that topic too, as well as some literature that describes how such models are created, run and analysed.

Phil M wrote:

“The fossil fuel industry in the grand scheme of things is a small employer. Greentech can employ far more people.”

In the US, the oil and gas industry alone provides 9.2 million jobs, directly and indirectly, and accounts for 7.5% of GDP.

You clearly have no idea what you’re babbling about.

“In the US, the oil and gas industry alone provides 9.2 million jobs, directly and indirectly, and accounts for 7.5% of GDP.”

Ahhh, you guys certainly know how to play to your strengths & ignore your weaknesses, not that it’s a strength, but it’s all you have.

9.2 million jobs, (reference?) out of 307 Million people?

The bureau of labor statistics have it at .5%. The services sector a massive 70%.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ecopro_12102009.htm

Industry sector Employment Change Percent distribution Average annual
rate of change

1998 2008 2018 1998- 2008- 1998 2008 2018 1998- 2008-
2008 2018 2008 2018

Total (1)………………………………… 140,564 150,932 166,206 10,368 15,274 100.0 100.0 100.0 0.7 1.0

Nonagriculture wage and salary (2)………….. 126,625 137,815 152,443 11,190 14,629 90.1 91.3 91.7 .9 1.0

Goods-producing, excluding agriculture………. 24,274 21,363 21,390 -2,911 27 17.3 14.2 12.9 -1.3 .0

[ Mining………………………………… 565 717 613 152 -104 .4 .5 .4 2.4 -1.6]
Construction…………………………… 6,149 7,215 8,552 1,066 1,337 4.4 4.8 5.1 1.6 1.7
Manufacturing………………………….. 17,560 13,431 12,225 -4,128 -1,206 12.5 8.9 7.4 -2.6 -.9

Service-providing…………………………. 102,351 116,452 131,053 14,101 14,601 72.8 77.2 78.8 1.3 1.2
Utilities……………………………… 613 560 500 -54 -59 .4 .4 .3 -.9 -1.1
Wholesale trade………………………… 5,795 5,964 6,220 169 256 4.1 4.0 3.7 .3 .4
Retail trade…………………………… 14,610 15,356 16,010 747 654 10.4 10.2 9.6 .5 .4
Transportation and warehousing…………… 4,168 4,505 4,950 337 445 3.0 3.0 3.0 .8 .9
Information……………………………. 3,218 2,997 3,115 -222 118 2.3 2.0 1.9 -.7 .4
Financial activities……………………. 7,462 8,146 8,703 683 557 5.3 5.4 5.2 .9 .7
Professional and business services……….. 15,147 17,778 21,968 2,632 4,190 10.8 11.8 13.2 1.6 2.1
Educational services……………………. 2,233 3,037 3,842 804 805 1.6 2.0 2.3 3.1 2.4
Health care and social assistance………… 12,214 15,819 19,816 3,605 3,997 8.7 10.5 11.9 2.6 2.3
Leisure and hospitality…………………. 11,232 13,459 14,601 2,227 1,142 8.0 8.9 8.8 1.8 .8
Other services…………………………. 5,750 6,333 7,142 583 809 4.1 4.2 4.3 1.0 1.2
Federal government……………………… 2,772 2,764 2,859 -8 95 2.0 1.8 1.7 .0 .3
State and local government………………. 17,137 19,735 21,327 2,598 1,591 12.2 13.1 12.8 1.4 .8

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (3). 2,528 2,098 2,020 -430 -78 1.8 1.4 1.2 -1.8 -.4
Agriculture wage and salary………………. 1,373 1,210 1,206 -163 -3 1.0 .8 .7 -1.3 .0
Agriculture self-employed and unpaid family
workers………………………………… 1,155 889 814 -267 -75 .8 .6 .5 -2.6 -.9

Nonagriculture self-employed and unpaid
family workers………………………….. 9,342 9,313 9,943 -30 631 6.6 6.2 6.0 .0 .7

Secondary wage and salary jobs in agriculture
and private household industries (4)………. 172 182 192 9 10 .1 .1 .1 .5 .5
Secondary jobs as a self-employed or unpaid
family worker (5)……………………….. 1,897 1,524 1,607 -372 83 1.3 1.0 1.0 -2.2 .5

PhilM does it again! He provides a reference that says nothing close to his point. BTW, what was his point? Just to be argumentative?

His long list of BLS stats/predictions cover all jobs in the US for the period 2008-2018, but supports no specific point.

Searching the BLS site we get this: “Employment in the oil and gas well drilling industry accounted for 63,012 jobs in September 2009, which is the most recent period available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.”

Looking at his own provided stats we get this: “Mining………………………………… 717 (2008)

Again searching the BLS site we get this mining information for July 2011. 212.7K employed.

Finally, searching the BLS site again for refinery/pumping employment we find total employment is: 42,850.

That leaves the retail side of of the oil/gas/mining still to be determined. This is not quite so clearly defined, but what is found in Phil’s reference is this:
Gasoline stations………… Retail trade…. 843
Support activities for mining…. Mining… 328

So from the US BLS we have (63,012 + 717, 212,700 + 42,850) = 1,203,558 In the production industries. And (843 + 328) retail/support 1,171,000
A close estimate then is ~ 2,374,558 of 2008 total US employment of 150,932,000 or ~ 1.57% of 2008 total US employment.

See PhilM, that’s how analysis is done, ans supports the point of what percentage of US labor force works in the production and retail delivery of energy raw resources.

Even though these numbers are probably low, they do provide some US employment breakdown analysis. They do not just throw numbers against the wall in hopes something sticks supporting an ideology. C’mon PhillM you can do better.

A2, you know, I really like debating you. Because for starters, you falsify information which is so easily debunked. Secondly your not a big picture guy, so you cannot see beyond your compartment & thirdly, you just miss the fine details.And quattro, you just get it wrong sooo consistently.

Now, unlike your impersonating mate & yourself, I provide links/references/citation. You guys bring to the table…..opinion. And like denier scientists, you don’t get off your arse & conduct any research yourself…..you just criticize others work.

“He provides a reference that says nothing close to his point. BTW, what was his point? Just to be argumentative?”

We were talking about employment A2. Your name impersonating mate that you consent to, bought up the employment figures with NO reference & I pointed out that he was wrong. You then chimed in with your powers of ignorance with:

“His long list of BLS stats/predictions cover all jobs in the US for the period 2008-2018, but supports no specific point.”

Errr, the point is, that the mining sector employs stuff all people let alone the fossil fuel sector on it’s own.

“Searching the BLS site we get this: “Employment in the oil and gas well drilling industry accounted for 63,012 jobs in September 2009”

Sooo, even less than my figure? Good one A2, lol.

“Looking at his own provided stats we get this: “Mining………………………………… 717 (2008)”

Errr, well for starters, they are not MY figures. They are the bureau of statistics. And secondly, your attention to detail failed you again, because the most crucial bit was “Table 2. Employment by major industry sector, 1998, 2008, and projected 2018 (In thousands)”

In thousands means there was 717,000 people, lol. But hey, I’m willing to work with your 62,012 figure. You also provide no references, because they are not on the page I supplied.

“but what is found in Phil’s reference is this:
Gasoline stations………… Retail trade…. 843
Support activities for mining…. Mining… 328”

This is my favourite of your own goals A2.

If you have a look at what they talk about there, it is:

“Table 4. The 10 industries with the largest wage and salary employment declines, 2008-18 (1)
(In thousands)”

Which means both gas station workers & mining workers were in the top 10 of wage & salary decreases, haha! By the way, if you want to take into account things like gas station workers, lets look at the offset to that, by taking into account the thousands required to clean up fossil fuel mess, the cost in damages to our planet & the people it employs to now come up with low carbon economies.

“Even though these numbers are probably low,”

Glad we both agree & it backs what I initially stated : “The fossil fuel industry in the grand scheme of things is a small employer. Greentech can employ far more people.”

“C’mon PhillM you can do better.”

Thanks for the support, here’s more:

An independent study conducted by the Brookings institute ( Exxon is a funder) found :

“that jobs associated with producing fossil fuel based energy,
derivative products, and machinery make up roughly one percent of the
U.S. economy. If one adds distribution, gas stations, fuel transportation,
and wholesalers—peripheral activities excluded from the clean economy
estimates—the fossil fuel economy still employs only 1.8 percent of U.S.
workers or 2.4 million workers. A 2009 report from Pricewaterhouse
Coopers estimated that the number of jobs directly involved in the
fossil fuel industry was 2.1 million; that report was commissioned by
the American Petroleum Institute.”

Ouch. Whereas the cleantech sector employs 2.7 Million.

“The clean economy, which employs some 2.7 million
workers, encompasses a signifi cant number of jobs
in establishments spread across a diverse group of
industries.”

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/Programs/Metro/clean_economy/0713_clean_economy.pdf

Note: Notice how I post references, *hint*.

You will see they used the same site as I did as part of their analysis.

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/Programs/Metro/clean_economy/0713_clean_economy_appendix.pdf

Hint 2….you guys provide no references.

Shut up, denier!!!

Oddly… Phil is very much on point.

The only point the alarmist can make is to splatter meaningless “Stuff” up on the wall and hope nobdoy notices that it is all nonsense.

it is the standard for sites like this.

“PhilM does it again!”

Your partner in crime lines it up & you put it through the hoops eh?

“PhilM

Shut up, denier!!!

Anonymous denier, impersonating me again because he has be seriously pwned, sad. Silence is consent, so A2 consents to that sort of smear.

Very typical play of deniers.

By the way, it’s “Phil M”, not “PhilM” that you use to try & smear me. Amazing you didn’t use your usual anti Semitic rubbish too.

It cant be Phil M doing PhilM (pronounced film?) to spice things up can it?

Most probably not but that would make things a whole lot more interesting.

I’m keeping an open mind.

“It cant be Phil M doing PhilM (pronounced film?) to spice things up can it?”

No it can’t. It’s an attempt at smear & he’s been banned for it a few times already.

PhilM continues on his crap throwing crusade. Maybe, with some luck, he will got something to stick. it’s doubtful though.

PhilM claims that he: “I pointed out that he was wrong. ” But the closest thing I could find was this: “The fossil fuel industry in the grand scheme of things is a small employer. Greentech can employ far more people.” He then provides the entirety of a BLS jobs table. No where in that table was there a reference to “GREENTECH” jobs. Which is why I decided to use his own reference and table to show actual numbers for anon’s job category.

Do you get it yet? If you are going to make a point re: “GREENTECH” jobs then use a reference that also provides data for the same term.

BTW, I did not use a reference as I just used your own. Did you want me to repeat it?

Finally, you make a great point of finding some jobs in the ~2.1 to ~2.4M range to support “GREENTECH” industries versus anon’s 2.99% of population. (You can do the math!)

So if anon provides a reference, we will see just how wrong you were all along. Even if he does not, I have shown how poorly researched and ideological is you commentary.

You did better with you response to me, but you still are missing the target. You can do better still.

A2……AGAIN, you provide opinion & no reference to back up your claim. Nor does your name impersonating mate whose work you consent to.

“No where in that table was there a reference to “GREENTECH” jobs.”

Greentech & cleantech interchangeable :

“Environmental technology (abbreviated as envirotech) or green technology (abbreviated as greentech) or clean technology (abbreviated as cleantech) is the application of the environmental science and green chemistry to conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of human involvement. Sustainable development is the core of environmental technologies.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_technology

Pedantic semantics A2.

BTW, I did not use a reference as I just used your own.”

The bit where gas station & mining employee wages were on the decline? No, it was sad enough the first time.

“You did better with you response to me, but you still are missing the target. You can do better still.”

I know. I’m a bit embarrassed to say this….but the fossil fuel industry actually created the cleantech jobs. The damage the fossil fuel industries have caused isn’t commendable, but they served us well for the past hundred years or so & we can move on to sustainable energy now & stop burning shit to create energy.

So for the 2.7 Million people employed in the USA alone by cleantech, I’m sure they say thank you to the fossil fuel industry.

My grandchildren will most likely say “you burned things to create energy?!But there is energy all around you, Ahahahah! How dumb….just like neanderthals…..fire! Amazing”

PhilM, so let me get this straight. You copied a complete BLS table of data in your Fri, 2011-08-19 06:36 comment to support this claim of yours: “The fossil fuel industry in the grand scheme of things is a small employer. Greentech can employ far more people.” It supposedly refuted anon’s numeric claims: “In the US, the oil and gas industry alone provides 9.2 million jobs, directly and indirectly, and accounts for 7.5% of GDP.. I then pointed out using your own data: “”No where in that table was there a reference to ‘GREENTECH” jobs.”

Aft3er that you go off on a “spinning” Trying to refute your own copied BLS data table. In the end you finally googled some supporting references that actually provided data for you “Greentech” jobs. Well done. That should have been your first step.

Throughout that latter exchange you comment about no references, but why is a reference needed for direct copies of your own supplied BLS data table?

Your a strange, illogical, ideologically driven bird, PhilspaceM. (pronounced filluhm.)

“”No where in that table was there a reference to ‘GREENTECH” jobs.””

I explained that. You have a comprehension problem.

“Aft3er that you go off on a “spinning” Trying to refute your own copied BLS data table.”

You have a comprehension problem X 2.

“In the end you finally googled some supporting references that actually provided data for you “Greentech” jobs. Well done. That should have been your first step.”

Actually, it WAS my first step. That’s why i knew what I was talking about & clearly you did not. Nice try though.

“Throughout that latter exchange you comment about no references, but why is a reference needed for direct copies of your own supplied BLS data table?”

If you are going to use my links, at least post the exact quote, instead of paraphrasing it to denier palates. You are all opinion. Virtually all your posts are opinion.

“PhilspaceM. (pronounced filluhm.)”

Doesn’t make sense, but neither does most of your rantings.

FilluhM, liberal ideas and policies have been on parade for several generations, and the most recent attempts, Global Warming, Anthropogenic and otherwise Catastrophic are now known to be exaggerated. We can add to that the “Green Jobs” “Green/CleanTech” jobs as abject failures.

We do not need to point to Spain anymore. We, in the US have for three years tried our own “Green Jobs” experiment, and the analysis is being done. Read this article: Feeding The Masses On Unicorn Ribs
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/08/19/feeding-the-masses-on-unicorn-ribs/ (Look FilluhM a link!)

In it we find: “Besides healing the planet and returning the rising seas to their natural beds, then-Senator Obama promised that his administration would create beautiful green jobs: well paid, stable, abundant jobs, unionized, with full benefits and making the earth healthier and the American people richer. As President, he stayed on message: even after the truther-enabling “green jobs czar” Van Jones left the administration, green jobs have been one of the President’s signature policies for putting the American people back to work.”

and this analogy:

“Many liberals want green jobs to exist so badly that they don’t fully grasp how otherworldly and ineffectual this advocacy makes the President look to unemployed meat packers and truck drivers.

Let me put it this way. A GOP candidate might feel a need to please creationist voters and say a few nice things about intelligent design. That is politics as usual; it gins up the base and drive the opposition insane with fury and rage. No harm, really, and no foul.

But if that same politician then proposed to base federal health policy on a hunt for the historical Garden of Eden so that we could replace Medicare by feeding old people on fruit from the Tree of Life, he would have gone from quackery-as-usual to raving incompetence. True, the Tree of Life approach polls well in GOP focus groups: no cuts to Medicare benefits, massive tax savings, no death panels, Biblical values on display. Its only flaw is that there won’t be any magic free fruit that lets us live forever, and sooner or later people will notice that and be unhappy.”

“FilluhM, liberal ideas and policies have been on parade for several generations, and the most recent attempts, Global Warming, Anthropogenic and otherwise Catastrophic ”

Glad you can finally admit you are a CWM denier. Here to ply your ideological confirmation bias on others.

“We, in the US have for three years tried our own “Green Jobs” experiment, and the analysis is being done.”

Phwooooarh!!! 3 Years ! An incredible feat of effort! The fossil fuel industry has had 100 years to establish & it only employs 2.1 M people. In 3 years green jobs have produced 2.7 M jobs? Are you a salesman for the benefits of cleantech? And it’s only just got started.

“Read this article: Feeding The Masses On Unicorn Ribs”

I provide mainstream verifiable links & you provide an opinion blog?

Your a funny guy A2. Wrong, deluded, conned & duped….but still funny.

Not worth responding.

This is good news. Let’s hope they vote their morals and not their pocketbooks.

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